By: Fred van Lente (writer), Steve Kurth (pencils), Allen Martinez & Victor Olazaba (inks), John Rauch (colors) & Dave Lanphear (letters)

The Story: Tony Stark’s one-man war against the villains with stolen Iron Man technology in Transia continues.

What’s Good: I was a little hard on the initial issue of Iron Man Legacy,

but this issue feels a lot more grounded and put together.  One thing that bothered me about issue #1 was that although it was pretty clear that it wasn’t exactly in continuity with the rest of the Marvel Universe, it wasn’t clear when the action took place.  That is kind of answered here.  This story is taking place sometime before Tony Stark made it publicly known that he was the Iron Man.  That at least clears things up a little.

This is also very clearly a “new reader” comic.  The target for this comic is folks who loved Iron Man 2 and wanted to try reading an Iron Man comic.  The story is very unburdened by continuity (witness that I can’t figure out when this really happens).  As much as I love my continuity, it is a serious impediment for new readers and I’m glad to see Marvel trying to make this an easy title to jump onto.

The art has also calmed down a little bit.  I felt like in #1 there was almost an attempt to make the art look like Salvador Larroca’s work on Invincible Iron Man.  While this issue is still generally photo-realistic, it has its own look.  I particularly like the inking job on this issue.

From a story standpoint, Tony busts out a neat set of Subterranean Armor that I don’t think I’d seen before.  It is basically an oversized armor with huge drills in the place of the hands.  Neat!  Another neat thing for me was watching Tony take down this gaggle of Iron-impostors.  Even if armor battles have been extensively done before, they are just fun comics for me.  If you don’t like seeing armor fights, you probably shouldn’t read Iron Man comics.

What’s Not So Good: This entire issue is brown and gray.  How about some color?  Even the scenes showing Tony inside the armor (which are usually a vivid red) are kind of a rust brown.  What can I say, I like bright colors…..

I also found the overall concept for the issue a little off.  As Tony is battling these armored bad guys, he is rattling off the patent numbers of the techs they are using (i.e. he recognizes them exactly).  But, at the end, it is revealed that they didn’t steal anything from Tony.  They locked a bunch of local scientists up in a cave and threatened them with death until one of them managed do what Tony did in his Afghan cave: invent their way out of the mess…….and proceed to invent everything that Tony has and catch up with Tony’s current state-of-the-art.   I know that comics aren’t supposed to be plausible, but c’mon…..  That just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Also, I have to pull a fact check on the US patent numbers that Tony is rattling off during the battle.  The first one (8,071,859) made some sense.  The US Patent & Trademark office awards these numbers in sequential order and they haven’t gotten to the 8’s yet, so this would be some kind of future tech and that makes sense.  Then the next was 7,645,978 which in actuality was awarded earlier this year.  That’s in the realm of possibility.  But the final one he rattles off is 2,445,029.  That would have been issued back around World War II although I guess in the Marvel U there were some pretty cool technologies in that era.

I humbly offer my patent fact checking services to any future creators who want to talk about patents in their comics.

Conclusion: This is a decent fun comic, but isn’t anything noteworthy yet.

Grade: C

– Dean Stell